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Thread: Hi all from Toecutter and Rex

  1. #11

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    Hey Beloz,

    Mate good to hear that you have tried other methods, unlike a lot of people training dogs (I would include myself to a degree) who have not explored many other options, its good to see someone open minded enough to try.

    I am probably a little biased only because I have only really trained specific dogs with specific temperaments and drives. A little old school I suppose, but it has been successful with my old Akita and I am seeing good results with Rex after a week. Just having a little trouble with his prey drive, or lack thereof! But hopefully I can promote it because I would like to start him doing some man trailing. Any suggestions?

    As they say "different horses for different courses".

    I will see how Rex develops using PR and will keep you all updated.

    Cheers

    TC

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Logan, Brisbane QLD
    Posts
    806

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    Welcome,

    I also have an adopted shitzu X cattle dog who came with the name rex! Unlike our other two rescues whose names we changed, we decided to leave his be

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Melbourne VIC
    Posts
    607

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toecutter View Post
    Thanks all for your welcomes...

    Hey Beloz, as far as training is concerned, positive reinforcement is the one method that is not that easy to implement. It requires good timing, good voice inflection, understanding the psychology of the dog, being a little "left of centre" and most importantly as with any training...CONSISTENCY!!! something i cant agree with the use of food rewards because you aint always going to have a treat in your pocket and there goes the number one rule...CONSISTENCY!

    I hope I don't rub anyone up the wrong way with that, its just my opinion.

    TC
    Hey TC, I think the term Positive Reward Training is used and understood very loosely in society. Most people hear positive reward only and imagine people out there with their dog asking them to sit, saying "good dog" and then giving them a piece of food. This is a little narrow in thought (no insult intended).

    Positive Reward or Reward Based training is giving a command, saying yes or whatever word to tell them dog what they've done is good and then rewarding them with what THAT dog wants most. Some dogs love treats, while others are obsessed with balls or playing tug (the prey drive dogs). Some dogs simply want a pat or verbal praise from their handler, it just depends on the dog.

    Reward based training is a great way to teach puppies and other dogs new skills and to help build a bond with the handler. Reward based training is used a lot in the canine work force. In fact, for memory, with drug detectors, bomb detectors etc, they can't use positive punishment as this can impact on their effectiveness in the field (you don't want a bomb dog second guessing where the bomb is because he's afraid of what might happen if he does something wrong). Feel free anyone to correct me if I'm wrong. I could be wrong

    It's the trainers that say they are only reward based trainers ONLY that you have to worry about because you can't teach a dog that what they're doing is 'undesired" without some form of punishment, be it negative or positive punishment. You can teach them an alternative behaviour but they won't understand the other one is undesired, just that the reward for the new behaviour is better, so will choose that MOST of the time.

    Onto building drive, I was talking to Kris Kotsopoulos Von Forell Australia the other week about building drive in a foster puppy I was minding. Basically he said to not be too hard on it first by setting rules. Let it be a bit crazy and play rough and focus on building the bond. Get a tug toy and attach it to a lead or rope or something and play with it like you would a cat. Wiggle it around and move it away from the dog. When it chases after it, wait until it has almost caught it and flick it away in another direction. This brings out the prey drive in the dog. Small fluffy objects (you can buy rabbits tails and the like) for a dog to chase are winners! When the puppy gets hold of it you have to be gentle enough that you don't rip it out of it's mouth but as soon as it's grip is too loose you need to pull the toy out of there. This teaches the puppy it must hold on tighter in order to keep hold of it, and builds their desire to catch it.

    Obviously that wasn't a direct quote or anything so apologies if I got some of the wording or phrasing wrong.

    I am in the process of teaching my boy tracking as we speak. He's doing pretty well at it but he has basically no prey drive so it's all on food for me. Lucky he's a spaniel cross lab, so designed to track/retrieve and has a bottomless pit for a stomach It only took him about 10 days to distinguish my scent on articles on the floor from other identical articles
    Last edited by The Pawfectionist; 03-07-2012 at 09:31 PM.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Pawfectionist View Post
    Hey TC, I think the term Positive Reward Training is used and understood very loosely in society. Most people hear positive reward only and imagine people out there with their dog asking them to sit, saying "good dog" and then giving them a piece of food. This is a little narrow in thought (no insult intended).

    Positive Reward or Reward Based training is giving a command, saying yes or whatever word to tell them dog what they've done is good and then rewarding them with what THAT dog wants most. Some dogs love treats, while others are obsessed with balls or playing tug (the prey drive dogs). Some dogs simply want a pat or verbal praise from their handler, it just depends on the dog.

    Reward based training is a great way to teach puppies and other dogs new skills and to help build a bond with the handler. Reward based training is used a lot in the canine work force. In fact, for memory, with drug detectors, bomb detectors etc, they can't use positive punishment as this can impact on their effectiveness in the field (you don't want a bomb dog second guessing where the bomb is because he's afraid of what might happen if he does something wrong). Feel free anyone to correct me if I'm wrong. I could be wrong

    It's the trainers that say they are only reward based trainers ONLY that you have to worry about because you can't teach a dog that what they're doing is 'undesired" without some form of punishment, be it negative or positive punishment. You can teach them an alternative behaviour but they won't understand the other one is undesired, just that the reward for the new behaviour is better, so will choose that MOST of the time.

    Onto building drive, I was talking to Kris Kotsopoulos Von Forell Australia the other week about building drive in a foster puppy I was minding. Basically he said to not be too hard on it first by setting rules. Let it be a bit crazy and play rough and focus on building the bond. Get a tug toy and attach it to a lead or rope or something and play with it like you would a cat. Wiggle it around and move it away from the dog. When it chases after it, wait until it has almost caught it and flick it away in another direction. This brings out the prey drive in the dog. Small fluffy objects (you can buy rabbits tails and the like) for a dog to chase are winners! When the puppy gets hold of it you have to be gentle enough that you don't rip it out of it's mouth but as soon as it's grip is too loose you need to pull the toy out of there. This teaches the puppy it must hold on tighter in order to keep hold of it, and builds their desire to catch it.

    Obviously that wasn't a direct quote or anything so apologies if I got some of the wording or phrasing wrong.

    I am in the process of teaching my boy tracking as we speak. He's doing pretty well at it but he has basically no prey drive so it's all on food for me. Lucky he's a spaniel cross lab, so designed to track/retrieve and has a bottomless pit for a stomach It only took him about 10 days to distinguish my scent on articles on the floor from other identical articles
    Hey Pawfectionist,

    Positive Reinforcement is he way MWD (Military Working Dogs) and EDD (Explosive Detection Dogs) are trained...heaps of praise and rewarded with their toy or other reward, other than food. I dont know any working dogs that are trained using punishment as a means to re-inforce a desired result other than for highly aggressive dogs (land sharks) as a means of discipline.

    I have worked with both MWD as a handler and EDD when I was an Engineer before changing to MP's. I still keep in touch with a few guys and girls I worked with. I have a mate that used to be a EDD on operations and is now a member of a state police force not as a handler, but in a specialised role and he said that they are using food rewards to train their dogs. He reckons he has been on heaps of drug raids and the dogs they have employed are basically useless because they use food as a reward. He said that they are sitting upon detection (or alleged detection) and getting a reward and after inspection there is nothing to indicate the presence of drugs. This made me question the use of food as a reward. that is the short version and this is probably the wrong part of the forum to discuss this topic.

    I think you have mis-interpreted PR as Positive Reinforcement is a form of reward based training, just using a different reward..other than food!!

    As far as the tracking is concerned...I have a lot of operational experience in this area if people are interested and will post in the appropriate area of the forum. In short there are two main types of tracking...the typical tracking and the man trailing. Police forces use tracking as it focusses on recent ground disturbance and is good on relatively short trails, but man trailing focusses on the dead skin cells of a person or the "scent". Tracking dogs in Vietnam were trackers that used both tracking and man trailing ideologies but the modern MWD uses the trailing and air scenting to locate the target. This means that as much as the dog has to be trained so does the handler. It requires the handlers ability to read the terrain and environmental conditions. One of our MWD's was called upon to assist the local police to locate an offender who had shot a person because the state police had no dogs available to assist. The police could not understand why our dog was trailing the person from the opposite side of the road from where witnesses saw the offender flee the scene. Long story short...She (bitch) was trailing the skin cells that had blown across the street into the gutter and eventually led the police to the front door of the offenders house.

    I love the trailing work and would love to hear some others training methodologies.

    Cheers

    TC

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Melbourne VIC
    Posts
    607

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    It is very true. You do have to learn a lot when becoming a tracker/trailer in terms of reading the environment. I think it will be great to get your knowledge and experience regarding this specialty

    I don't quite understand where you think I have gone wrong with PR. Regarding P+ I simply meant that it would be pointless to train a dog using this as it could affect the dog's reliability. With some detector dogs, when they are trained they are misguided and can get into the habit of "as long as I have my nose on the gruond sniffing around and sniffing people's bags etc, I won't get a P+". I would never expect P+ to increase desired behaviour in a dog.

    Just so we're on the same page, i see it as follows.

    R+ = giving a treat or ball etc to increase the dog's likelihood of exhibiting the desired behaviour
    R- = removing something uncomfortable to increase the dog's likelihood of exhibiting the desired behaviour, eg. holding the lead tight (undesirable) until the dog stops pulling then letting it hang loose once dog stops.
    P+ = giving a correction to decrease the dog's likelihood of exhibiting the undesired behaviour
    P- = witholding attention or a reward to decrease the dog's likelihood of exhibiting the undesired behaviour, eg. showing the dog you have a treat but not giving it to them until they stop jumping on you.

    I look forward to your future threads and posts.

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